August 10, 2011

No Complaints

Well, summer has finally arrived. I know, I know for many of you it has arrived in spades (hot spades at that), but for those of us in the Pacific Northwest who have had to cope with cooler and wetter weather for most of the summer, the heat and dryness of this past few weeks have been quite a blessing. Of course, we’re not used to it in the least so it’s made for some slow going as dog walkers.

But I’ve decided I can’t complain anymore. That’s right…I’m giving up complaining. Or at least, I’m going to try to give up complaining. Why? Well, I’ve been inspired by this woman:

Diana Nyad. Do you know who she is? Have you been following her efforts?

Well, Ms. Nyad is a swimmer (among other things) and at 61 years old, she attempted to swim from Cuba to Key West – a 103 mile journey across shark-infested, stormy seas.

“Attempted” — that’s right, she didn’t make it. 30 hours into the swim she was blown 15 miles off course, was vomiting from persistent asthma and had injured her shoulder (just hours after she got into the water).

But still — that’s pretty darn inspirational, isn’t it? I mean, even if she were 21 years old, it would be phenomenal, but at 61 years old, to make such an attempt — to train for such an attempt — is phenomenal.

So every day that we’ve been out with our pals, with my paws warm on the ground and my tongue gasping for air in the summer heat, I think of Diana. Stroke after stroke she just kept going. When I get tired after two hours of walking I think, “Two hours ain’t nothing compared to 30 hours! Keep moving, buddy!” When my muscles are sore and tired, I sing songs (just like Diana) to keep me moving forward.

True, walking dogs for a living is nothing compared to swimming across an ocean. There aren’t any sharks. There aren’t any waves (unless I’m swimming, but I use the waves to bring me to shore!). There aren’t any rules about how I can’t touch the boat. There isn’t any salt water cutting into my skin. I get to sleep when I’m tired and my food doesn’t come in a squeeze tube.

Yep, I’ve got it pretty easy.

But I’ve been so inspired by Diana that I’ve told all of our clients about it (especially when they start to complain). They’ve been impressed, too.

Roux: I’m going to try to run for 30 hours, okay? You count the time Rubin, and I’ll run and run and run…oh wait, I need your help. Run with me. No wait. I’m not sure I can keep going. How long has it been? Three minutes?  Are you sure? Wow. Okay. I give up. Whew!

Monty: I could probably do it if it were raining and the cars drove by and made that sound with their tires. I love that sound! Makes me go crazy wild! But then again, I think I’d rather just sit and smile at stuff. Preferably in the shade. Like this lion here. He’s got the right idea, don’t you think? Got any treats?

Rosie: Swimming? I used to never like it, but then I’ve been swimming with Gretchen at the pool and you know what? I’m pretty good at it. And ever since I’ve been swimming at Wellsprings K9, I’ve got a ton more energy. Maybe I should start training for a 103 mile swim. Wait. Would Gretchen swim next to me? That’s the only way I’d swim that far.

Tyson: Could I touch the bottom? I don’t go anywhere unless I can touch the bottom. And what’s a shark? Would I need to protect someone from a shark or would I like them? This is so confusing. I don’t know. I think I’d worry too much about it all. Maybe we should just do our daily walks. That sounds a bit more doable.

Woobie: Well, if some people wouldn’t pull me out of the water to constantly take my picture I could keep training because frankly, I COULD swim that far. Really. I LOVE to swim. Maybe I could meet Ms. Nyad and train with her for her next swim? I’m sure she’d like me. I’m very likable. Could I wear a swim cap though? I think that might help.

Rubin: I love to swim, too, but I think I’ll stick to my routine. And work really really hard on not complaining!

Congratulations Ms. Nyad! This is one puppy who is very very proud and inspired by you!


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